With gyms and group classes closing around the country amid the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), it can be tempting to bid adieu to even the easiest forms of exercise while social distancing.
But staying active is a great way to lower anxiety and break up the monotony that comes with isolation.
“All this social distancing creates anxiety, and what quells anxiety is bonding,” fitness guru Brooke Burke tells PEOPLE. “To look on the very bright side of this, I’ve been isolated now for seven days at home with my boyfriend [Scott Rigsby], and it’s been a really interesting time to connect and slow down.”
It’s also been a time for her to get creative with her workouts, especially with Rigsby by her side. Below, the Intimate Knowledge podcast co-host — who’s currently offering 75 percent off for all new subscribers to her fitness app Brooke Burke Body — shares her best tips for staying active with a significant other.
Take Advantage of the Outdoors
“Scott and I are both super active, so we’ve been doing hikes and runs. Fresh air is a really good thing [but just maintain six feet of distance],” says Burke, who also suggests jumping rope, walking lunges and burpees for an outdoor cardio fix. “If your area isn’t conducive to walking or hiking, you can figure out a 10×10 ft. space anywhere and get a full body workout in.”
Have a Sexy Sunday
“It’s easy to lose track of time [in isolation],” says Burke, who says picking a day of the week to have a “sexy” workout is a great way for couples to grow intimacy.
One of her favorite partner workout moves involves couples both getting into squat position. “You’re holding hands so you’re leaning back but balancing each other out,” she says. “It requires companionship, and you have to connect to find the balance.”
Slowing Down Is a Good Thing
“This time right now is a great time for discovery and to learn [about yourself],” says Burke. For those who aren’t able to do tougher workouts, even spending 10 to 15 minutes a day doing gentle yoga or stretching can help “move your body into a new space,” she adds.
Burke also suggests keeping your equipment out so its easily accessible. “I’ve got yoga mats set up in my living room, and I’ll do ab contests and push-ups with my kids,” she says.
Stay Committed — and Don’t Be Afraid of Some Healthy Competition
“Hold each other accountable and make a physical commitment to each other. I’ve never spent seven days and had three meals a day with my boyfriend before,” says Burke, who suggests setting alarms and writing down workout schedules in advance. “Working out at home with a partner — whether it’s my man or my kids — we push each other. It’s easy to get lazy at home, but we know the more we work out, the more we want to work out.”
Couples can also encourage each other with a little healthy competition. “Do an ab challenge, or try to do 100 reps in the next week. Those kinds of things are super fun,” says Burke. “Sometimes Scott will run a mile up ahead of me and we’ll meet on the downside of the hill and walk together. It’s more about togetherness and commitment to take care of your body and to reset yourself with a good sweat.”
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